Our lovely colleagues next door at Bloomsbury have launched a new competition, inviting children to write a story of 247 words or fewer on any subject around a monthly theme. It’s not many words, granted, not when you consider that our Writers’ and Artists’ annual writing competition for grown-ups asks for 2,000 words – but penning something short and sweet, which also entertains, is an art in itself.
I’d love it if such an economy of expression became a new genre of the ‘very short story’, and now seems the perfect time to mention the talents of Dan Rhodes, master of the very very short story, whose 101 tales in Anthropology – each of precisely 101 words – are a captivating collection of intense bursts of prose. And yes, I really do mean that. I was a sceptic too until a friend gave me a copy and demanded I read all 10,201 words of it (it didn’t take long).
Back at www.247tales.com, each month a Bloomsbury children’s author is writing their own (very) short story – go ahead and look, you can read Elen Caldecott’s When I Grow Up right now, while winning children’s stories are appearing in a library area. Or, for those of you not quite in the magic age category for this particular competition, there are plenty of other short story competitions and awards.
Warm wishes, Jo